Accounting is a tedious but essential part of any organization. Accounts Receivable (A/R) is the action that puts money into the pockets of your business, with Accounts Payable (A/P) being the driving force to help your business grow and develop (which ultimately leads to more revenue entering the business’s wallet). A/P and A/R are the lifeblood of an organization, and immense importance should be given on ensuring these practices are performed efficiently and effectively.
Think about the next 5 years – is business growth towards the top of your list? Probably! Well the only way to successfully grow in such a competitive environment is to have all hands on deck and have the focus of your key members solely on growth-generating activities. These activities could take the form of networking, collaboration, analyzing your current market, looking into tapping new markets, research and development, hiring, and even getting leaner.
Every business has their niche, their one strong suit. This one service forms the foundation of your business and is your optimal revenue generating activity. The best use of your organization’s time is to focus on this type of activity and leaving those tasks not in the sphere of your expertise to partners. Freson Brothers, whom we will touch on later, noticed the need to have their focus surrounding revenue generating activity and to have Business Process Outsourcing Partners use their expertise in areas of invoice automation. As such, Freson Brothers partnered with Consentia to provide Accounts Payable Solutions. This partnership has been incredibly successful for both parties for years.
Which device are you reading this article on? Your desktop? Possibly your mobile device? Below the piece of glass with which you are reading these words is the possibility to access endless information. Knowledge on any topic imaginable can reach your device in the blink of an eye. Ease of access to documents, content, and data can now streamline business processes and automate workflow. However, just because we have all this information does not mean that each piece is as valuable as the next. As such, the collected material must be adequately organized to be optimally utilized. Involved in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) are the tools and procedures to collect and organize the aforementioned data, so as to be of value to the reader (whether the reader is a senior manager, client, etc).
There are a number of components within ECM which aid in achieving the goals listed above. The processes involved include capturing, managing, storing, preserving, and delivering information.
– Capturing information is accomplished through data transformation whereby physical documentation is converted to an electronic form, this being merged with your current catalogue of electronic information to deliver an inventory ready to be managed. An electronic catalogue would include pulled metadata which describes that piece of data.
– The Managing aspect includes the networking of data, records, and web content management to utilize information. Included with the above means are document management and business process management. The 5 components can either be working together, or separately.
– Storing data places an emphasis on the interim, with the information that is either not required or frequently changing backed up in the short term to allow for editing, if necessary.
– The Preserve component backs up the information that is opposite of what was listed in the last point, that is the infrequently changing and required data being backed up via Records Management Systems.
– Finally, Delivering the information provides the requested information to the user requesting it.
Documentum is an example of Records Management that is found in all stages of ECM. As Michael Trafton of BlueFishGroup states “Documentum is like a hard drive on steroids” due to its incredible practical applications for medium and large sized enterprises. There is still the ability to store your crucial files, however a difference compared to a hard drive stems from the ability to access these files. This ease of access does not take away from the notion of security, with Documentum providing the ability for certain parties to view (or not view) sensitive information, and allowing the capability to edit information through authorization.
The issue of data security continues to be an ever-present threat. Credit card giant Capital One, recently replaced its cybersecurity chief as it assesses the aftermath from its July data breach, which saw a hacker take millions of credit card application data between 2005 and 2019 from customers applying for credit cards. The data leaked also included names, addresses, postal addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth and self-reported income, as well as credit scores and credit limits.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, data security problems are getting worse and there remains the question of how seriously both businesses and consumers take this threat. In a study performed by MasterCard, 90% of respondents noted data privacy as an important issue to them. This is followed by two-thirds of respondents believing companies are not acting in the best interests of consumers to enhance data security. Nonetheless, the blame is not solely on the heads of the corporation. Even though, according to Shred-It, around 33% of individuals have been a victim of cybersecurity threats (via information fraud, or identity theft), 28% of those who have fallen victim say they change their passwords or pins “only sometimes” after a company suffers a breach, and 9% don’t update their credentials at all.
These facts paint the perfect picture that the path towards true data security is a two-way street. Utilizers of IOT (Internet of Things) need to be aware that threats targeting one’s security is constant, and that precautions (whether this be changing passwords and ensuring internet devices are equipped with malware and ransomware protection) need to be taken to protect one’s sensitive information. With that being said, enterprises need to establish both technological and personnel frameworks to keep this delicate intelligence secure. This takes the form of the aforementioned technological aids, but also training those within the enterprise (specifically those in HR) on appropriate procedures and practices. Not only should all employees be well-versed in these practices, but continuous revisions and updates should be implemented. This is in response to a GetApp survey depicting that 41% of employers do not train all their HR personnel in protecting private data, and just 19% revise their policy quarterly.
Whether your business is small or large and whether your services are varied or niche, every business needs to implement additions to their processes to remain secure in their actions, which in turn protects your clients. This can be accomplished by:
- Securing your sensitive information via encryption
- Preparing for potential threats by instilling, within your employees, correct protocols
- Scanning and appropriate storage of information, followed by disposal of physical copies
- Limit the ability to access certain information, and disallow potentially dangerous websites
Consentia is amongst the 19% of employers who revise security policies, as we hold mandatory security workshops for every staff member every 3 months. Workshops are a great way to get your staff engaged in the education of data security practices, as it presents an interactive environment allowing staff members to be more receptive on methods to combat this issue. Consentia is committed to security, continuously making additions and amendments to our processes to keep up to date with the threat of data security. All IOT work done is monitored by our Professional Services staff, with all USB ports locked and internet within our Service Bureau floor only permitted on a per case basis. All Consentia staff members undergo criminal background checks before starting, and are observed when reading and signing of any new versions of our security manuals. Ensuring your business implements these security safeguards allows your clients to feel confident their information is in the right hands. Applying such security measures will ensure the walls of your business (the metaphorical data walls) remain protected from breach, allowing you to take on more business and increase client confidence.
Cybersecurity threats can severely impact a business. Unfortunately, such threats can hurt your business. IT departments are faced with a multitude of ever-changing threats that directly impacts business processes. Threats in earlier years took the form of information theft and vandalism. On top of this are emerging issues such as espionage, disinformation, market manipulation and disruption of infrastructure. Consentia views client partnerships as relationships. As such, we take every effort to ensure our relationships remain strong and secure. Consentia takes data security and privacy immensely seriously, with a hyper focus on these issues throughout all facets of our business, and that of our clients.
Let’s face it, we are in the age of technology. Maybe not quite floating cars or self-tying shoes, but our world has changed significantly from even 10 years ago. Though we do not have robots amongst us just yet, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is beginning to shape various aspects of our lives. These aspects spread from the devices in our homes to the work processes in our offices. AI has made the performance of tasks quicker and easier, whilst allowing for completion of even more difficult tasks. With AI’s ability for greater responsibility, one area of wonderment is the interpretation and analysis of data. We are slowly entering the age of AI’s understanding behind the meaning of data, providing us with interpretations and accompanying solutions that we may have never noticed.
Traditional data analysis takes the form of a computer sifting through data sets which contain answers to discrete questions. These responses aid in answering questions related to:
- The frequency of “positive” words compared to “negative” words
- The presence of a particular phrase
- A selection made from five options
Answers to these basic questions can be sought after by basic computing actions. However, we are curious beings and like to understand why an event happened or how a result should be interpreted. Responding to these queries involves an added element of human logical interaction so as to notify the computer on the linearity of the interpretation. With this being said, AI’s ability to perform data analysis needs to be in balance with both the technological and the human; with the technology side answering the discrete questions and comparing these results to a benchmark created by human reasoning. The discrepancy between the human and the technological interpretation demonstrates the disconnect between validity and reporting. Your basic computer does not have the ability to understand the nuance and interpretation of a phrase. Where logical reasoning illustrates meaning and understanding (the validity side of the coin), computers report answers derived from data sets provided.
Data analytics in the era of AI will hopefully merge computing abilities with human understanding. Currently, the problems faced with the merging of these two entities takes the form of the continued access to the data set required to accurately provide both a report and interpretation of information. However, with this problem follows strides in creating a solution, two in fact. The first is Natural Language Processing, which allows for easier use of internet searching by allowing parties to speak to their device in a language deemed to be comfortable, thus affording these parties with the utmost accuracy for their inquiries. The second solution are Bots, which ask proactive questions to extract data and create a foundation to develop insights that are comparable to those created via human reasoning.
At Consentia, we take pride in our unique ability to both create and analyze data sets. Specifically, our Survey Department of Business Process Outsourcing utilizes both Consentia’s Managed and Professional Services to collect data, present findings, and analyze results. From creating and administering a survey to developing custom reporting and presentation of results (and everything in between), Consentia ensures excellence in Descriptive and Diagnostic Analytics. Descriptive Analytics answers the question “What Happened?” with Diagnostic Analytics answering the question “Why Did This Happen?” With the incredible enhancements in the field of AI, Consentia is poised to further our abilities to also include Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics, which analyzes data to predict what could happen and in turn utilizes this forecast to indicate how we can make a desired outcome occur.
The future is incredibly bright for this immensely exciting wave of analytics!
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- Electronic Health Records (EHRs) Save Lives: The Essential Need to Transition from Paper to Digital Records
- Data Entry: The Battle of Humans vs. Machines?
- The Foundations of Scanning Blueprints
- Cloud-Based Medical Records Will Be Essential for 5G Healthcare